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These days there’s a growing list of essential content you should include in every email you send. You know the drill. Unsubscribe mechanism, postal address, link to web version, the list goes on.

The permission reminder message

Of all the essential content though, there’s one I consistently see missing in many of the thousands of campaigns we deliver each week. What makes this more surprising is that this is one of the most important elements and also one of the easiest to add. I’m talking about the permission reminder message – a simple sentence or two reminding the subscriber how they gave you their permission to email them. Here’s a quick example:

Hi, just a reminder that you’re receiving this email because you subscribed via our web site. As promised, this issue includes great tips on ……

Simple hey. In 2 simple sentences you’ve assured each recipient that your email isn’t spam and reminded them why they were interested in hearing from you in the first place.

Don’t stop there

We’re nearly there, but now that you’ve reminded the subscriber how you got their permission and what you’re sending them, why not give those that are no longer interested the option to unsubscribe right there and then. Here’s a complete example:

Hi, just a reminder that you’re receiving this email because you subscribed via our web site. As promised, this issue includes great tips on ……, but you may unsubscribe if you’re no longer interested.

If you can’t summarise how you got their permission in a few words, then there’s every chance you don’t have it or they won’t remember giving it to you. “Remember that time you downloaded a report from our partner and gave them your email address” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

While we’re on the subject, we recently tweaked our anti-spam policy to make our permission requirements crystal clear. We give you a quick summary of this each time you add subscribers to your account, but it’s worth a peek if you haven’t already checked it out.

  • Kelly

    Great points! I agree the permission reminder is invaluable for maintaining a high quality list! I have found that some clients are reluctant because they fear people will unsubscribe if it’s made easily available at the top of the email.

    While unsubscribe rates may slightly increase with the use of the permissions reminder – it’s important to remember that these people probably aren’t usually opening and reading your emails anyway and are no longer interested in what you have to say – so just let them go!

  • Mark Eagleton

    Very good, except that “click here” links are the oldest web no no in the book. Instead, try:

    …, but you may unsubscribe if you’re no longer interested.

  • Alison

    I agree – very useful. We launched our website a couple of months ago and sending newsletters is new to us, so has given some very useful tips and pointers for future emails.

  • Dave Greiner

    Great point Mark, I agree that’s a better way to approach it and have updated the post to reflect this. Glad someone’s checking up on me ;)

  • Jake Tracey

    This is great stuff guys, your e-mails never get sent to my Junk folder!

  • Damien

    We started including the permission reminders a while back – good reminder article. Agreed with Mark on the ‘click here’ too – particularly since so many spam filters will latch onto it.

  • Yasir

    Great stuff guys.. we never really thought necessary to add permission reminder message to tell you frankly. But that can prove to be difference I believe.. thanks for the tip!

  • Mike

    Wonderful idea! Thanks for the tips guys.

  • David

    I have always thought that the more and more visibly you show your subscribers that they can unsubscribe easily, the higher the quality of your list becomes. It is however difficult to sometimes convince the client that it is the best way forward. But I will certainly try hard on this.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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